Labour emboldens unions

Why are there more strikes under Labour-led governments? Andrew Little seems to think that it is because unions feels that under a Labour-led government their complaints will be ‘heard’. A more unkind explanation would be that unions know that a National-led government is tougher and less likely to give in to strike action. Quote.

There were more strikes last year than in any of the previous 10 years. Political reporter Gia Garrick looks at why and whether Labour’s historic relationship with the unions could lose the party its public support.

Labour’s Andrew Little gazes at the framed black and white picture of his idol Peter Fraser, one of the men responsible for the unions’ foray into politics.

[…] he agrees Labour in government encourages emboldened unions.

[…] last year there were 46 strikes; involving 7,716 people.

[…] In 2017, there were just six. In 2016, there were three. There were more strikes in 2018 than the previous five years combined.

It’s as far back as 2005, under the previous Labour Government, that the figures approach the number for 2018. That year there were 60 strikes.
Under National, the peak year for strikes was 2009, when 8,951 people walked off the job during 31 strikes. end quote.

Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern is an E t? union member. She is proud of the relationship her government has with the union movement. National claims that the unions are deliberately hurting the New Zealand economy. quote.

National?s rhetoric over the past year has been that the sudden and significant increase in industrial action will hinder the success of New Zealand businesses, and the Labour Party doesn’t seem to care.

National has put Coromandel MP Scott Simpson in charge of targeting what Labour holds most dear – its core working class values.

Simpson says unions need to answer some hard questions around productivity gains and increasing education skill sets.

[…] Reasons given for the increase in strike action last year include the fact that many of the long-term collective agreements ran out in 2017.
“What you’re seeing at the moment is strong economic conditions, people feeling secure in their job, that it is time to get a better deal – and you’ve seen that in the collective bargaining that’s been going on,” Mr Lees-Galloway says. end quote.

He also admits that workers expect more from a Labour government. The coalition has delivered changes to the Employment Relations Act, and they have also promised to implement so-called Fair Pay Agreements. The lolly scramble with other people’s money continues with Lees-Galloway also talking about raising the minimum wage, increasing paid parental leave and setting a goal for so-called pay equity.

But wait there’s more. Business and union representatives want him to reform the Holidays Act as well. No wonder there are so many strikes. When the unions say, “Jump!” Labour asks “How high?”